Guide Dog Training Days 6 To 12

I’ve been at home with Vivvy for the past two days, so i will try and recap the past week as best i can.

Saturday was a pretty horrid day weather wise. We did a walk in the morning, before tackling off kerb obsticles in the afternoon. Off kerb obsticles are where the pavement is completely blocked. Your dog will take you to the kerb and you step off the kerb and get back on the pavement as quickly and safely as possible. The obsticles that were used were artificial, but it was to mimmic real life obsticles such as cars parked on the pavement. It was back to the hotel after this for a quiz on dog behaviour and how to understand your dog. By the time all that was done, it was time for dinner for both dogs and humans. Unfortunately Viv was a bit sick after eating her dinner. She seemed fine in herself so i think it was just a case of eating too quickly.

Sunday was free run day. All the dogs were badly in need of this chance to be a dog. The dogs ran and ran and ran and still seemed to have energy to burn. We discovered that Vivvy is very very ball obsessed as she kept trying to take other dogs balls. So i will be doing a bit of work i think on that as when i’m playing tennis, i don’t want her to decide to take our balls. Her recall could also do with some work so i think i’ll be working on that too. By the time we were ready to go, the dogs were suitably wet and muddy. They had had a good time though so that was all that mattered.

When

We got back to the hotel, it was time to dry the dogs off and let them have a nice sleep while we all enjoyed a lovely carvery lunch. The rest of the day was our own, so my friend came up and we just chilled out really. Everyone else had their family members up with them as well. I think we all needed that chilled out afternoon to gather ourselves for the week ahead.

Monday was moving in to more busier conditions, putting in to practice what we’d learnt over the last week.

Tuesday we learnt how to get on and off busses with the dogs, followed by a trip to a coffee shop for a cuppa and to work on the dogs lying together not annoying each other. I must say that Vivvy is a bit of an instigator in trying to get the other dogs to play with her. She’ll lie down but move her face towards whoever is beside her. She is incredibly crafty like that. Thankfully she didn’t get the dogs to play this time though which was good.

we then did some group obedience in the afternoon. We had to walk each dog around the others while the others were sitting. There were then toys placed around and the dogs had to leave them alone. I needed my gentle leader for this one as she was very very interested in the toys.

On Wednesday, we went in to Conswater shopping centre for some indoor work. Viv worked lovely as always being very responsive to my commands. It was back to the hotel after this for a health and welfare talk from the dog care and welfare advisor. This is the person who we contact if our dogs need non routine treatment or if there is an emergency.

We did some traffic work in the afternoon. We learnt that there is near traffic, where traffic is on the right and we are on the kerb and far traffic, where you are crossing a road and a car comes from nowhere. The near traffic we can practice ourselves because we always stay on the kerb whilst telling the dog to go forward when the car is in front of us. When the dog doesn’t go, they get praised. If they do go, we don’t let them step off the kerb. This is called intelligent disobedience which is a good thing to have in a guide dog.

We headed out bowling after our dinner as the class night out. It was going to be a meal out, but we decided that we wanted to do bowling instead. It was a good night and was a good way to just chill out and forget about dogs for a short while at least. The dogs chilled out in the hotel with the tv for company.

We did some more traffic work on Thursday before heading out to the pet shop to get toys beds and bowls if we needed them. There was quite a lot of toys to choose from. I baught Viv a cuddly phasant, and a squeaky brussle sprout which unfortunately was destroyed within minutes. It seems like Vivvy can’t really have soft toys and needs harder, tougher toys as she slabbers a lot on them and then tries to rip the softer ones apart.

We did an evening walk afterwards as the media person from Guide dogs stayed for some lunch and we were all chatting and that before she took some pictures of everyone and their dogs for facebook. We did another busier walk, and eventually ended up at the Co-Opp to buy some chocolate. It was dark when we did the walk so it was a new experience for the dogs. Again, they coped brilliantly.

Friday was our last day unfortunately. The whole class absolutely flew in.

I had told myself that i was going to enjoy this class, and not be hanging on every word like i was with Ushi. But then again, Ushi was my first dog so that was nearly to be expected. I was nowhere near as nervous as i was with Ushi either. There wasn’t much to do apart from get all our things together and say goodbye to everyone before we headed for a last walk before heading home.

These past couple of days have been spent just settling in to home life again after the hotel. Vivvy is certainly lively off harness, but i do think this will work. Hopefully once we start working our routes, that will burn off some of the energy she has. I need to also remember that she is still young and that i had Ushi for nearly 8 years, so there is some difference between the two dogs. I am looking forward to the home training and hopefully, it won’t be long until i’m qualified.


Guide Dogs 80th Birthday

Today was the start of Guide dog week, and it was the
80th birthday party
In Belfast. I was going up with my rehab worker. My friend asked if she could be picked up from my house since we were both going together. That was fine.

My friend came to the house at about 8.30 as we weren’t leaving til 9 o’clock. We thought we would let the dogs have a bit of a play before we would go.

I had told my two year old brother that he would see another doggy soon. I said that she was a guide dog and that it was called Della. My two year old brother was like “I want to see Della” and “Will Della be there in a second?” and “I want to see the black doggy”. I said Della was a guide dog and he was like “Della is a guide dog but she isn’t Wushi (Ushi)”.

When my friend came, I left Ushi in the hall and went out to meet her. My little brother was then behind the front door so we waited until he had moved. Ushi was off her lead and they could see each other through the door and were having a good whine at each other. When we did let them see each other, I grabbed onto Ushi’s collar to let my friend in, and now have a huge cramp in my arm. She can be quite strong when she wants to be. My friend was a bit nervous about letting Della off her lead in case she bumped into my two year old brothers cast. I said it would be fine and asked mum and she was okay with them being let off too.

Well they had a ball. I was expecting them to run all through the house, but they just rolled around the floor and chewed on each others ears, pawed each other, snorted and generally had a great time. At one point Ushi went off to lie in the kitchen. I went to see where she was and she then got up and went to play with Della again. It was great to let them do this as it was a dog I knew, and it was nice to see her having so much fun.

When my rehab worker came he watched them play together for a bit before we put them in the car. The car was just outside so we didn’t put them on leads, but instead just opened the boot. Ushi just would not get in the boot because she associates going in his car with sitting in the front at my feet. We bribed her up though with a dog treat and she was soon up. We figured that we would put them both in the boot as they were getting on so well and one of them would be going in the back anyway.

We got to the City Hall at about half 9. We chatted to some of the staff for a while, before sitting down for a while as the actual event didn’t start until 11 o’clock.

More guide dog owners started to arrive so of course that meant that the dogs would get rather excited. Every time a new dog came along, the dogs wanted to say hello. I heard someone complaining about the dogs getting excited. I don’t think she was a guide dog owner but she was within earshot. I just said something like “They aren’t robots so it’s only natural that they would get excited” or something to that affect.

One of the puppywalkers then came up to us with her pup Troy. Another puppywalkerwas going to bring up her pup Trixy but i think she was being rather naughty.

At about half 10, we got some photograps taken, before going into a markee as this was where all the other guide dog owners were. At this point it started to bucket down so it was a good job that we were all in the markee.

Lots of people started to turn up for the blind folded obsticle course. It was made up of cars, chairs, lamp posts and just the general street furniture that would be found on a street. It was 80 feet long and people were given a long cane and accompanied up the course. The lord mayor for Belfast then came so we had to get photographs taken with him. Here is a
Vidio of him
Doing the course. I think there were some people walking with some guide dogs blind folded too so you might see that.

I think alot of the guide dog owners left shortly after that, but not before the birthday cake was cut. We got all the dogs sitting up while the cake was braught in. Apparently it was a two teer cake with little iced guide dogs with their harnesses on and baloons on the second layer. It sounded great.

There were still people doing the obsticle course, but we just chatted to the public and met more doggies.

I baught the Northern Ireland guide dogs calendar for 2012, and baught a book for my two year old brother called
Pheenix Finds Treasure
Which is about a dog who finds a ladys purse or something on a beach. It’s not guide dogs related but i think the author is donating the proceeds to guide dogs.

It was an alright day but I think more would have happened if it hadn’t been so wet and miserable. I just think there could have been a little more happening, but we couldn’t really control the weather.

What mattered was that there were hopefully a few people made more aware of how cluttered the streets can be for blind and partially sighted people.

I even saw one of my old primary school teachers too.

There are lots of other events happening across the UK all across this coming week. I hope everyone has a good time and that all doggies have fun!


This Time Last Year…"Watch"

We had a fantastic walk this morning. I was going to take Ushi up to my little brothers school as my sister is still taking him, but Ushi kept stopping on her lead. (I’m thinking she thought that she should be working it since we usually worked out of the house). So I just did another route so that my brother wouldn’t be late for school. We did another route, but because Ushi couldn’t see my sister she started whining and tried to go the way my sister was going. I got her back on track and she eventually stopped whining and looking around. She was grand for the rest of our walk. It was bin day so she had to work quite alot and did brilliantly. Normally we miss the bins but because i was up earlier they hadn’t been emptied yet.

When we were heading home one of the recycling people who empty our bottles and stuff was like “can i stroke your dog?”. I said yes if he would wait until i crossed the road as I was in the middle of the road lol.

Anyway…

Last year, we learnt the
“Watch”
Command. This is basically where if the dog brushes you against an obsticle, you tap the obsticle and say “Watch” firmly. If you can, you go back and reapproach the obsticle. Thankfully Ushi doesn’t walk me into that much, but it is still a useful command because you could be hit by the edge of a bin, or by a bush.

We also learnt what “traffic training” is. There are two types of traffic: near and far. I think the near traffic is the most dangerous but can’t remember. If a car drives out in front of you, the dog will stop until the car has gone. There is an exercise we can do to re enforce this. This is called a “near traffic response”. Basically on a quiet street, when we are waiting for it to be safe to cross, and we hear a car coming from the right, we tell the dog to go “forward” whilst we are still on the kerb and the car is on the road in front of us. Obviously the dog shouldn’t go forward, so you tell them that they are “good for waiting”. I usually do this once a week at different points, and then say to ushi once she doesn’t go forward “Good girl to wait”. Once the car has gone you can just go forward as normal if the road is clear.

The “far traffic response” is cars from the left, but this should only be used if you are in the middle of the road and you get caught out, or when an instructor is doing it like on class. You don’t do it otherwise as it could cause an accident.

It sounded pritty scarey when it was first explained, but now it’s nothing at all. I do hope i haven’t scared anyone because i explained it.

Tomorrow I can’t remember what I posted lol.

I hope you are enjoying these recaps.


Shopping And Stopping

Since my
Aftercare Visit
Last week, I thought things would have improved regarding Ushi’s
Little Stops
Well they didn’t really….

On Tuesday I was feeling quite positive, and decided to do the big church route again, just to make sure we were both comfy and that we would have no stops. We got along fine, until we reached our usual stopping point, and wham, a stoppage. So instead of being all gruff and cross with her, I got my really positive voice on, and tried to get her to carry on. Meanwhile across the road, there were kids playing football, and
Those Kids Who tried to feed Ushi
Came running towards me. So I quickly tried to get her to go straight on. Another girl came up and asked if she could pet Ushi, which I said yes, then heard those other kids coming. So I just said that Ushi was being a bad girl and had to keep her moving. (she does this wee dance thing on her back legs when she gets distracted by kids and other dogs). We got further on, and she decided to keep going up a persons driveway, so I kept having to correct her for that. She was still very hesitant at her kerbs though. When we got to one kerb, I decided to put my foot into the gutter (would never never do this with traffic but it was quiet), just to see if she would go forward. She eventually went forward which was good.

On the part of the route where we would be opposite the park, Ushi kept seeing another dog, and was like “Ooooooh that looks interesting!”, so I had to keep telling her to “Leave it!”. An elerdly woman who had the other dog was like “my dog is being a bad boy too. Can we go past?”. I didn’t fancy Ushi getting distracted in the road, so asked her if it was okay for me to go across first. She said that was fine, and it meant that me and Ushi would be further along in the opposite direction from the woman who was going to the park.

We had no further problems. I was a bit puzzled about why she was still so hesitant at her kerbs, but put it down to my praise not being that good.

On Wednesday when we went out for our walk, it was bucketing down. Ushi kept wanting to go back inside, but I tried to keep her moving, but she just kept heading for the house. So we went back inside until it stopped raining.

After it stopped, I got her out and up to our first kerb outside our house. I tried to get her to turn right, but she just stopped. She eventually went when she saw someone walking ahead of us. I thought nothing really of it, until she stopped again at the corner of our estate where there is usually a big dog who barks at us. It was shortly after this actually when she stopped. We have passed that dog loads of times before, so I don’t know what the problem was. It took me ages to finally get her up to her down kerb where we would cross for going to the shop and most other routes lol. I decided that there was no point going any further, and that we would just do the block route around our estate, since she was just stopping. I mean she has never stopped at that point before. I don’t know what had happened. I met my dad, and he went in front of me. I then told him to stay behind me where Ushi wouldn’t see him. We did eventually get around that little route, but it was rather strange!!!

Thursday was no better really. I could barely get her to go right after our first down kerb. I turned round, to see if she would go the other way around the block, and she did up until she saw a cat. I kept correcting her, but all she was interested in was that cat. I eventually got her past the cat, but then we had a stoppage again. There has been no obsticles at all when she has stopped. I would have no problem if it was an “off kerb” obsticle for instance. Usually though she sort of slows down before those though, whereas when she stopped it was just a dead stop. I just did a “back” turn then, and took her back home. I was starting to get a bit worried about why this was happening. My dad was saying that she could need to be retrained because she was so distracted and all, but I said that all guide dogs get distracted and all, and I didn’t want to admit that she could need retrained. But my friend said that I wouldn’t have been qualified if she did need to be retrained.

The bonus was though that my friend was up doing hotel orientation, as she is going off on class soon. My rehab worker was going to pop in to see me, and my friend wanted to see Ushi, so it was awesome! So at about 4 o’clock, they came round.

I braught Ushi down, and gave the lead to my friend to hold. I was so pleased with Ushi. There was a bit of waggy tails, but she just lay down at my friends feet! I was expecting her not to settle as she just loves people, but she was grand!!! I took Ushi back upstairs again, after my friend had said her hellos, as my little brother wanted to hold one of our guinny pigs. (the team said that Ushi might not really like them, so not to hold them in front of her).

My rehab worker asked me how I was getting on, and I said about the stops. He said that it is hard, but to keep persivereing with her. I said about not wanting to run to the team all the time, but he said that was their job. He just said to keep at it. I said that I felt as though I didn’t want to be qualified because this week was kind of bad, but my rehab worker says that of course I should be qualified, and that it wasn’t bad at all. He said to ring the team if it didn’t get any better.

My friend and my rehab worker soon left after that.

On Friday, I spent ages on the small block route trying my hardest to get Ushi going. I managed to get her to the corner with the barking dog, but no further. So I did a “back” turn, and only got her so far. There was a car, and she spent ages at it, so I thought that it was maybe going to be a “Off kerb” obsticle. But she wouldn’t go off the kerb, so I kept getting her to go back up to the car, and she eventually went around it (there was space at the other side of it). I told her to find home, then tried to do the route again, but she wouldn’t go. But it was gradual progress. I was still quite worried though.

On Friday night, I took her downstairs. For some reason the guinny pigs were extremely noisy. Ushi normally doesn’t bother with them, but was right at the cage whining a little. I thought they were maybe annoying her, so was going to put her on the long lead, but she eventually came over and just lay down. My sister said that she couldn’t see what was making the noise, so that was probably what was annoying her.

Yesterday I think we made huge strides with the stops. I managed to get her halfway round the little block which was great. She was more crawling than actually stopping, which was good. I would have kept going on the block route, but we got to where the
Yappy dogs
Were that I encountered after I qualified. There was a car parked, and I figured that we might have been too close for comfort to where the dogs were, and didn’t want Ushi getting agitated or anything. So I just casually did a “back” turn. A few minutes later, the owner of the dogs came up, and explained that there was a tube lying on the ground (Ushi had stopped again). I said that the dogs were a bit scary, but then felt terrible as these were her dogs! I appologised for saying that they were scary, and she completely understood. She explained that they bark at everyone, but that there were too many for Ushi, and that was why she was maybe scared. She was a lovely woman. I really enjoyed talking to her. We went on our way after that.

Ushi was taking me around a car, and I sort of took the lead just gently. These kids were like “what are you doing?”, and I just said that she was taking me around a car. I felt like saying inside though “what does it look like!” but refrained lol. As I went home, they casually came up on the road on their little scooters, and started making dog noises! I just told Ushi to “Pay attention!” and to find home. The kids eventually got bored I think. I wasn’t as worried yesterday.

Today was really good. I decided to take Ushi into town with my dad guiding me. I put her harness on, but just held dads arm and the harness was on her back. I just held the lead. I wanted to get her used to being in town, without actually having to work it. She was fabulous!!! She only ocasionally looked at children (she loves children), and people, but didn’t get massively distracted. Even when we took her into our local Tescos (it was a little one), she was grand. We decided to sit on a bench and eat some chocolate (we do this every day just to kill time really). I was going to have her sit in front of us, but then thought cause we were eating it would be better to have her lie down. She just lay there! I didn’t take her harness off cause we were only there for about 5 minutes. She did look around, but stayed lying down which was fab. I felt so proud of her!!!

I don’t think she liked the wooden floor in Waterstones though, as she kind of rushed over it lol. I think because it made a different sound than the tiles and such, and it was shiney wood. She was grand though the whole day!!!!!

I didn’t actually work her today, but I wanted her to get used to town while it was quiet, and so that she wouldn’t have to deal with the stress of working it.

I am so pleased with today. I hope it will help her with her stops. I will still ring the team tomorrow just to get some advice really in case the stops continue. Hopefully they won’t though!!

She is lying behind me now as I type lol. Earlier mum said she was just watching me type earlier. I thought that was cute lol.

We had our first major frost this morning. I thought Ushi wouldn’t spend, but she was grand. I think she wanted to chase it afterwards though as she did a little run around. I corrected her though. I don’t want to jinx it, but when I have let her off lead around the garden, she hasn’t dug, or played chasies with me. I got her a tug toy last week and bring it out, and when she sees it, she comes running!!! I have decided to keep her on lead for her first spend and last spend (as in the morning i’m not really awake lol). But if it is raining, then I keep her on all the time just so she doesn’t play silly billies.

I’ll let you know what the team say tomorrow though. I hope you don’t get bored of these entries. I just thought i’d let you all know how everything is going.


11th Day Of Guide Dog Class

I figured I’d write this day now, and then I can go back and write the other days.

It was up at 7 o’clock as usual, to prepare for the day, and Ushi’s half 7 feeding and watering. I still can’t believe that the weeks have flown in so quickly! Hard to believe that it is our last night here!

We headed down for breakfast again at 8 o’clock. We had come up with an idea latst night. The restaurant manager kept asking us throughout the week when we were bringing our dogs down for him to see. We came up with the idea that we wouldn’t take the dogs into the restaurant itself, but would take the dogs to the door so that he could see them. We had breakfast first. The only reason we didn’t take the dogs in was because we hadn’t learnt how to do that, and didn’t want to disappoint the instructors lol.

I had my usual for breakfast, which was cornflakes and a glass of orange juice. We then treated ourselves to a lovely cup of tea.

After we got ready, we braught the dogs down. We went down one at a time. It was the least we could do for the restaurant manager, without getting into bother with our instructors. Not that we would have, of course.

Well Ushi sat quietly the whole time while she was being fussed over. We chatted for ages just about how good she was and all. Her tail was wagging away, which is always good! Apparently, she kept looking at me the whole time too, just watching me.

After that, I headed back up to my room to get ready for the day. Again, I wasn’t going out until about half 10, so I just chilled for a while after speaking to the instructors just to be sociable.

After they had gone, I did a session of the basic obedience. Again, she did fabulously.

After this, I just chilled in my room, and listened to the radio.

I took Ushi out to spend at about half 10, before going out on our first walk of the day. She hadn’t done anything then, so I just went on the walk anyway.

The walk went rather well. I didn’t have to correct her that harshly which was good. There was one point where we had to take her harness off, as I was being shown how to do a good harness correction, and we didn’t want her to feel like she was being corrected when she had done nothing wrong. Basically, you push the handle forward, and really jerk back. It is basically as effective as a lead correction. You would do it if she just wasn’t paying attention, or just being a madam. You could even do it if she wasn’t going at your speed, and was pulling alot. You would just say “steady” in a really harsh voice.

We walked on after that just as normal.

At one point, we went into a caffe, to practice what you would do when going into a coffee shop, or anywhere where you wanted her under a table. I worked her along the street, and then told her “In and find the door”. I then dropped my handle, and took my instructors arm. When we got to our table, I took off her harness, (Ushi’s, that is lol) and sat down on the bench. I then told her to “come”, and then told her to “down” and she lay right down. I asked why you would take the harness off, and apparently it is just to make her settle more quickly. You keep a hold of the lead though. You can eat away as you normally would in a coffee shop, so that is good.

After we had finished our drinks, the instructor went up to pay. She said I could wait until she came back to get Ushi’s harness on, depending on how confident I felt. I thought I would give it a shot. I told Ushi to “Upstand” which got her into a standing position. I then got her out by saying “come” and got her to “wait” while I got her harness on. I then turned round to face the direction of the door, and told her “forward” and “up to the door”. I then got her straight up to the step, as she treated it like a kerb. I then told her forward, and could either get her to sit as soon as she stepped off the step, and then done a right or left turn, but to save time, It is just as easy to walk on a couple of steps, and then tell her “In” and “find the way”. She was grand. She walked along quite nicely, until we were nearly back to the car. She suddenly stopped in the middle of the pavement, and sat. My instructor said that she was trying to spend. We didn’t want her doing that at all, since I had given her plenty of time to go before the walk. We got her to lie down, thankfully before she had done anything. We waited for a minute before moving off again. I asked the instructor how she knew that she was going to spend, and the way she was sitting just told her. Apparently she was pulling slightly to the side kerb to go, which is where they will go if they need to go out on a walk, but I just thought she was going around an obsticle. When we had her lie down for a few minutes, she was grand. It wasn’t that far from the car thankfully. I asked if she would go in the car, but she won’t go where she lies apparently, and they don’t actually like doing it out in the street.

It was lunch after this. My instructor put Ushi in the spending pen to see if she would go, but she didn’t.

A recently qualified Guide dog mobility instructor joined us for lunch. She just wanted to see what the hotel was like for whenever she would be doing classes.

After lunch, we were all going out together, as we would be doing a free run afterwards. We were held up though from going by a certain madam. I had to have a massive play with her and make her run around the room, just to make her get the urge to actually go whenever we took her out again to spend. Eventually she did go though, so that was a relief, as I knew that she wouldn’t go on the walk. I slipped into get her play collar, and wrapped it in a paper towel, so that she wouldn’t hear it.

We were going to do a walk first. I sat in the car for a while while the other two clients went. It was my turn next.

First of all, whenever we set off, I could feel a huge obsticle in front of me. I could just sense a solid object. I was really hesitant to go, but they just told me to appear confident, so that she would think I was, so that she wouldn’t lose confidence. Whenever I hesitated, she was more likely to get distracted. So we walked on. Everything went well, apart from at that obsticle.

I got really hung up on that fact, as I could hear the instructors talking behind me whenever I hesitated. I thought that they were saying something really bad lol. As soon as I got back to the car, I burst into tears, as I thought that because I hesitated, it could have really bad implications for me. I explained that I wanted to get everything right and all. The instructor was great. She explained that I can always slow Ushi down, and tell her to “wait” until I catch my breath. She said that Ushi’s job was to walk me around obsticles, and that It wasn’t my fault that she was a bit stubborn at times. She also said how good I was, and that I listened to every instruction. I eventually cheered up until I got to where we were going to free run the dogs. I just burst into tears again, because on Sunday when we took the dogs, she went really mad, and I found it really hard to control her. My instructor was going to put a “halty” on her, which is like a little thing that goes over her nose, to stop her pulling. She asked if I wanted to go free running, and I said yes. I wanted to do it because I enjoyed it, and that I just found it really relaxing. The instructor also said that I had only been working with her for a week, so not to be too hard on myself.

Once I had composed myself, we got out of the car. The other instructor came over and gave me a hug and all. I thought I was going to start crying again lol.

We walked along to the park, and Ushi was grand. It took us about 10 minutes to get into the park on Sunday, but she just walked nicely even though the other client was in front of me. I liked it alot! She walked nicely because we had the “Halty” on her, that I mentioned the other day.

We spent a good hour roughly at the park. The dogs had a wonderful time, and I found myself brightening up too.

We got back to the car, and instead of putting the dogs in the boot, we learnt how to get in and out of cars with the dogs. Basically, you open the door, and put your right leg and bum in first. You tell the dog to “wait” as you are getting in. You keep your left leg outside the car, and encourage the dog to “come”. You then get your left leg in behind her, and encourage her to “sit”. That is all you do. When getting out, you would put your left leg out first, while telling the dog to wait. You would then tell the dog to “come” and wait as you got out. That would again be all you would do.

I learnt that if you go for a free run, you must wait at least two hours before you feed her, as if you feed her straight away, then her stomach can twist, which can be fatal. You have to wait two hours after feeding her too before a free run.

When we got back to the hotel, I stuck her in my room, and then went down to the lounge for a chill. The instructors were packing some of the stuff away that they had braught with them. They gave me my “health book” and a fleese for her to lie on during the day, like down stairs, or at college or something. It is just like a mat. They said to let her lie on it during the day, or have it as an option as well as her bed.

I just had dinner, which again was codd, chips and mushy peas, followed by a chocolate fudge cake. We both were ready to bust after that lol.

I fed Ushi and spent her, and have been just sitting in my room since really writing todays blog. Hard to believe that It is our last night! I really really really enjoyed the company and craic, and the awesomeness of the district team!

We are all going home tomorrow morning at about half 9. We might do a walk first though.

I thought I would write this now, and then write the other days later. I am going to pack up the computer now. I will save this in draft until I post the other days, as it might be confusing then. I have really enjoyed class, and hope you have enjoyed reading my experiences too. Sorry if this was boring. I will post tomorrows half day tomorrow!!!